September's ARAC Meeting & Proposed Site Alteration By-Law

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With the return of the school year comes the return of our regular committee schedule. During the summer months, Council will place all of the regular July meetings in the first two weeks of the month and place all of the August meetings toward the end of the month, thus creating somewhat of a break from Committee work. September 7th will be our next Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee following our last meeting in early July.

Agenda items for this meeting include:

  • Zoning Amendment – 3926 Milton Road (Cumberland)
  • Zoning Amendment – 3455 Milton Road (Cumberland)
  • Zoning Amendment – 6690 Mitch Owens (Osgoode)
  • Zoning Amendment – 1430 Dunning Road (Cumberland) 
  • Appointment of a Drainage Engineer for Wilson-Cowan Municipal Drain

Also included is a report that includes some zoning by-law amendments to accommodate reconstruction efforts in parts of the city that were impacted by the severe flooding in May of this year. Another report is a quarterly Omnibus Zoning By-Law Amendment report, which we will receive a brief presentation on with regard to any impacts in the rural area.

As always, ARAC meetings are held at Ben Franklin Place in Centrepointe in the former Nepean Council Chambers. Our meetings begin at 10:00am. All of the items listed above are available for review at Ottawa.ca or through our monthly e-Newsletter, which you can sign up for at RideauGoulbourn.ca.

Proposed Site Alteration By-Law

Last year, the City of Ottawa began a review of the current City By-Laws that regulate site alteration activities. Over the last several months, City staff have engaged with local residents, farming organizations and environmental groups to create a new Site Alteration By-Law for the City of Ottawa. The City’s goal with this new by-law is to prevent drainage problems, protect the productivity of soils in designated Agricultural Resource Areas, protect designated natural areas and other identified natural heritage features (such as significant woodlands and valleylands) from negative impacts, reduce the risk of root damage to City-owned trees or other trees protected under the City’s tree by-laws and to establish basic rules for how site alteration is done, to avoid impacts to neighbours and the environment. Ultimately, the driving force behind this proposal is the impacts on agricultural lands by those wishing to development. In some cases, we have seen land manipulation in an effort to downgrade land from agricultural to a use more compatible with development. One thing I would like to see in this by-law is an outright exemption for normal agricultural activities. That exemption doesn’t yet exist.

I would encourage any landowner or resident who has an interest in site alteration activities to review the draft by-law which is available on Ottawa.ca and to provide your feedback to City staff. As always, you can contact my office to receive a copy of the draft by-law, or to provide your comments. It is very important that the City received a variety of feedback on this matter from all parties impacted.

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If you have any comments, questions or concerns, please feel free to email me at Scott.Moffatt@ottawa.ca or contact me by phone at 613-580-2491. For information on Rideau-Goulbourn issues, please visit RideauGoulbourn.ca.